How long can sellers leave items on the property after closing?

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How long can sellers leave items on the property after closing?

Seller left items on property. Items were excluded from contract. But when we went to closing the seller said they had to leave some items and could they leave it there for awhile. We have made several called to see when they were going to pick up. Now 4 years later they want to pick up their items. When is the items considered abandoned and considered yours?

Asked on August 15, 2011 Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you closed escrow on a piece of real property more than four (4) years ago and the sellers left items on the premises representing that they would shortly pick them up, and now want to pick up the items, give the items to them along with an invoice to be paid for storing them during this long time period.

Whether an item is considered abandoned or not depends upon the item left behind and the length of time passing from when the owner left the item and when the owner makes a request for its return.

Given the passage of four (4) years of items left behind by the prior owners without any request for their return, you can take a very good position that such items were abandoned by the previous sellers and left behind when you closed escrow on the purchase.

Your options are to either keep the items for yourself, or return them to the prior owners with an invoice for their storage to be paid.

Good luck.


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